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This is a cut and paste from facebook:

If you’ve been hiding under a log, it is possible that you have missed how badly VA is bungling the backlog issue.

While some VA regional offices are actually getting the backlog down, others are still struggling to follow the law.

One such office is the Indianapolis VA.

There, Sergeant First Class Shelton Hickerson finally won his lifelong battle for benefits only after losing his life.

Hickerson spent 20 years as a combat drill instructor after serving two tours in Vietnam with the US Army.

Initially, Hickerson battled VA for years to only receive a 10% rating. The conditions are covered in the television interview, but they are numerous.

Hickerson appealed and VA did not acknowledge his appeal for years. It finally provided him a full grant of 100% but then refused to provide payment. This means the initial decision was wrong by about 10000%.

The justification given as to why Hickerson would not get his money right away was that VA needed to assess Hickerson’s competence. VA has a policy where they will not give a veteran his or her money if they are determined to be incompetent. If incompetent, VA forces the veteran to have a fiduciary.

For Hickerson, he was in fact competent. However, VA ignored the reports and a previous requirement to file decisions in a timely manner. VA instead sat on the money for over one year.

The delay lasted the remainder of Hickerson’s life. The day that he died, his family received the payment for over $370,000.

VA had this to say about the Hickerson case:

“The VA confirms they received their own competency report almost three months before Hickerson died… Unfortunately, we did not rate this case prior to the veterans death because the issue was intertwined with several of the Veteran’s other claims and due to our overall workload.”

Source: WISH TV

July 1 at 11:30pm ·

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Disgusting. Veterans and/or their families should be able to file civil lawsuits against the VA when incidents like this happen. The VA should also have to pay interest when there are unjustified delays.

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